When the latest piece of technology debuts, many focus on the shortcomings of the device rather than the successes. However, failures in technology can lead to greater advancements according to Dr. Julia Troche, instructor in the history department at Missouri State University and co-curator for an interactive exhibit at Brown University that focuses on ancient Egyptian artifacts.
“A lot of times people get sort of mesmerized by the advanced things that Egyptians were able to do, but I think what is also really cool about ancient Egypt is the desert preserved so much,” said Troche. “We actually have a lot of preserved failures that are just as instructive as the successes, such as pyramids that collapsed and obelisks that cracked.”
What helped Egyptians succeed?
The Egyptians were resourceful with what simple tools they had available to them.
According to Troche, an example of this is how Egyptians figured out how to move large statues in the sand by pouring water in front them to prevent sand from building up, which would create resistance.
“What interests me the most about Egyptian technology is not that they used extravagant tools, but how much they could do with really simple things,” said Troche. “They really harnessed the power of everything they had around them. They used the sun, general observation and really simple tools to do extraordinary things.”